Grow Food for Free.

Now that is something I can get behind. In this DK book by Huw Richards ($28.99), the author teaches us what he has learned over the course of 12 months.

“Imagine eating seasonal produce you’ve grown and harvested with your own hands as part of every meal. Imagine having unlimited access to your own produce stand 365 days a year. Imagine growing food that costs next to nothing,” Richards writes in the introduction. Richards comments free to him means “obtaining something without any money exchanging hands.”

It doesn’t mean, however, “no effort because – and let’s get real here – it is impossible to grow food without putting in time and energy.”

Richards said the book is for people with big and small spaces in the country or in the city. It’s for anyone who wants to grow food for free. I am not convinced, however, that I would be successful growing food I can eat at every meal 365 days a year in our climate without a greenhouse. It is May, after all, and there is still snow. Snow. In May. Sigh.

However, if I can grow some food for free that lasts throughout the summer and into the fall, I will be happy.

There are lots of ideas from seed exchanges, planting from your kitchen pantry (I am attempting to grow chickpeas and successfully grew a cherry tomato plant from the seed of the cherry tomatoes I bought from the grocery store) and the power of bartering to making your own tools, compost and flower beds.

Chapters include starting your own vegetable patch: producing your own compost (I am still not convinced this is a good idea in urban areas); sourcing seeds and plants for free; how to grow perennials; how to grow annuals; fight pests and diseases; and looking ahead. Within each chapter are lots of sections offering information on everything from creating your own containers to compost recipes.

There are lots of pictures in the book with step-by-step instructions on building ground beds and layers in a compost bin. Information about annual and perennial plants includes how to start, grow and harvest everything from tomatoes, leaf crops, berries and root vegetables.

The book is full of knowledge, laid out in a way that makes the information easy to access and read. I haven’t yet got to the end of the book, but I am half way through, reading every word on each page.

I am excited to transfer my seeds from indoors to outdoors – if the snow, frost and cold ever go away.

A copy of Grow Food for Free The Sustainable, Zero-Cost, Low-Effort Way to a Bountiful Harvest was provided by DK for an honest review. The opinions are my own. You can pick up a copy of this book at Amazon.ca